Google’s Teaming Up with The NCAA to Try Out Its Predictive Analytics

Google has chosen an unlikely, yet interesting, teammate to show off its work in predictive analytics. The tech giant announced that it has been working alongside the NCAA since December 2017 to help the organization use cloud technology to analyze and understand the past eight decades worth of game and competition data. That’s play-by-play data from 90 championships and 24 sports to go through. Now, Google is using the Final Four games as an opportunity to go one step further.

The Google Cloud team has worked to build a data-driven bracketology competition using the historic data. This will help fans and NCAA members to search through, compare and analyze team and player performance, and receive near real-time simulations for tournament analysis and forecasting.

Source: Google

How Data Will Be Used to Predict Final Four Outcomes

The data analysis by the team Google put together – which the company refers to as The Wolfpack – uncovered quite a lot of information. The Wolfpack found everything from which players block the most shots to which teams cause more hype during March Madness based on their mascot.

For this year’s Final Four, though, Google is looking to try out their analysis live. It will use the information it gathers in the first half of the games to predict the outcome of the second.

According to the announcement by Google Cloud team member Courtney Blacker, this is how it’ll work:

“During the Final Four, our Google Cloud team (yes, The Wolfpack included) will be on site in San Antonio, closely following the games. We’ll use our workflow to analyze our observations from the first half of each game against NCAA historical data to hone in on a prediction for the second half that we think is highly probable.”

“As halftime starts, the real work begins. We’ll have only minutes to turn our prediction into a TV spot. Our creative team will take the prediction generated by our team of data scientists and data analysts and create the ad right there in the Alamodome, using a real-time rendering system built by Cloneless and Eleven Inc.”

Source: NCAA

Prior to half-time wrapping up, the team will hand its information over to the networks to see how accurate it actually is.

What’s Next for Google’s Data Collecting?

Google is only using March Madness as an example because of the commotion it can start by using such a huge event followed by so many fans. Once the data analysis is seen as effective in real-time, Google hopes to use it for other causes – like for other organizations, nonprofits, or even teams in other sports.